OK, Folks....Now it may (?) be my turn to go shopping. - Club Lexus Forums


OK, Folks....Now it may (?) be my turn to go shopping.

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Old 03-19-17, 06:39 PM   #1
mmarshall
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Default OK, Folks....Now it may (?) be my turn to go shopping.

I typically keep a car for 5-6 years, but my 5-year-old Verano doesn't have that many miles on it, is in virtually mint condition except for a few small sheet-metal dings from tree-nuts falling down (can't always avoid those, for several reasons), and has truly been an excellent car. I've probably had fewer repairs, even considering the mileage, than any other car I've owned (even my Lexus IS300)...most of my service visits have been routine oil changes and repairing tire-punctures from the crap lying on the roads around here. In addition, the Buick/Chevy/GMC shop I've dealt with has been excellent, (Buick scores first now, among mainstream brands, in dealer/customer satisfaction...almost as high as Lexus). My Verano isn't perfect...though well-built, with good hardware, and tomb-quiet in the wind/road noise department on smooth roads, its room is tight inside, it doesn't ride as smooth as I think a Buick should (thanks to the 18" 45-series tires), and the Ecotec 4 isn't as smooth as a V6.

So, as is typically the case every 5-6 years or so, I might be in the market myself later this year....or early next year. I had considered a new 2018 Verano, but the brilliant marketers at Buick decided to ****-can the American market with it and confine it to China (Thanks a lot, guys....what a way to treat your customers) . Ditto for next year's Regal sedan...it looks like it will be shoved aside, here in the American market, for the Regal Hatchback and Wagon (though it cannot be denied that those are more useful body styles). So, in the Buick line, that will just leave the flagship LaCrosse for the American-market sedans. The LaCrosse, of course, is all-new this year, and benefits from some noticeable increases in build-quality over previous ones, though still lacking some of that Opel-derived solidness found on the smaller Buicks. It also has some quirky features....more on that in a minute.

So, this time, IF I decide to spring for a new ride (it might be sensible just to keep my present car a little more), I'll probably be going up a notch or two in size, sticking to a FWD sedan (I generally don't need an SUV, though I might take a good look at the upcoming Regal wagon). I could afford an expensive luxury car like a Lexus LS460 or Mercedes S550 if I really wanted one, but I generally choose not to spend that much on a car, and something that size, for me, would probably be unwieldy in my condo-parking spaces and the spaces in the places I usually shop.

I spend a good deal of my time advising others on car-purchases, both on and off the forum...but, as someone who acknowledges that he doesn't know it all, now it's my turn to ask your opinions here in Car Chat, and see what you think. Currently, my top three picks (not necessarily in that order) for three sedans in the $40-45K sedan department...the Buick LaCrosse, the Lexus ES350, and the Lincoln MKZ..........with the possible option of spending a little more and getting a Genesis G80 3.8L AWD (the less-expensive RWD version would not be an choice for me). I like all four of those vehicles, for different reasons. This list is not set in stone, though, by any means...I'm open to further considerations later in the year, and I have learned, from the past, that you sometimes end up in something that you never thought you would have (like when I bought my Outback some years ago).

Anyhow, for now, what are your opinions on the top three picks (with the Regal and G80 as possible alternatives)




BUICK LACROSSE (all-new for 2017)





Plusses: Excellent dealer service, semi-traditonal Buick ride/quietness (with the (18", not 20" wheels), increasing Buick reputation for reliability, better build-quality than previous version, rich wood or wood-tone trim inside, semi-cushy seat (not quite as cushy as the Verano's), complete set of engine gauges instead of idot-lights, superb fit/finish, AWD available on top versions, luxury-car-grade 6/70 and 4/50 warranty.

Minuses: Awkward E-shifter (although it does automatically go into Park when shut off and the doors are opened, a nice feature), non-defeatable engine idle-stop system, cheap-looking 4-spoke steering wheel and stalks, sophisticated Hi-per strut suspension only available with the stiff 20" wheels/tires.




LEXUS ES350 (last of current-generation 2017 version...a new one is coming next year)




Plusses: Industry-benchmark fit/finish, precision assembly at the plant, top-notch reliability, Interior room/comfort, quiet and smooth ride (though not as silky as with past versions), gem-like wood steering wheel, high level of dealer/customer satisfaction, low depreciation, not-too-garish Spindle-Grille compared to other Lexus models.

(Also, it would again make me a Lexus owner like a lot of you CL members LOL)

Minuses: Well-fitted but thin, tinny-feeling doors/trunk-lid/sheet metal, some cost-cutting inside with plastic trim-parts, annoying zig-zag-pattern shifter (but better than the E-shifter in the LaCrosse), suspension nice but not as soft as on previous versions (I like a soft ride).




LINCOLN MKZ (current-generation, face-lifted for 2017):




Plusses: Push-button-transmission shifter on the dash (IMO) easier and more convienent to use than the shifters in either the ES or LaCrosse, Dynamite-looking Continental front-end styling, good noise-isolation and softish ride on base-level tires, nice color choice, generally nice-looking interior trim, new ***** this year for volume and climate-control much better then previous finger/sensor-slides, AWD available even with base engine.

Minuses: Sold and serviced out of bread-and-butter Ford shops, looser assembly quality not quite up to Buick or Lexus standards, 2.0L turbo four base engine, though torquey, not up to luxury-car standards, some interior hardware cheaply done, large awkward-looking C-pillars impede some visibility, no N/A V6...one has to move up to the grossly overpowered 400 HP TT V6 and AWD.


So, right now, folks (though that could change), those are my three main considerations. I like all three of these cars, and choosing between them (or choosing something else) is going to be very difficult. Your thoughts?

Thanks for your input.

MM

Last edited by mmarshall; 03-19-17 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 03-19-17, 06:48 PM   #2
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My choices for YOU based on your posts in this forum would be:

Buick LaCrosse- You've had great luck with your Verano and have really enjoyed it, and the LaCrosse would be a step up in quality and technology.
Lexus ES- Just hard to go wrong with one. Yes, a new model is coming, but they've worked the bugs out of this one, and they are styled so "under the radar" that they never really go out of style
Lincoln MKZ- Just not real sure about long-term quality at this point. Also, I don't particularly like the interior layout.

Ultimately, you need to decide what will make you happiest, but those are my thoughts.
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Old 03-19-17, 06:52 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by dseag2 View Post
My choices for YOU based on your posts in this forum would be:

Buick LaCrosse- You've had great luck with your Verano and have really enjoyed it, and the LaCrosse would be a step up in quality and technology.
Lexus ES- Just hard to go wrong with one. Yes, a new model is coming, but they've worked the bugs out of this one, and they are styled so "under the radar" that they never really go out of style
Lincoln MKZ- Just not real sure about long-term quality at this point. Also, I don't particularly like the interior layout.

Ultimately, you need to decide what will make you happiest, but those are my thoughts.
Thanks. You've pretty much echoed my thoughts on all three. The LaCrosse would be a step up in several ways...though I'm not sure quality would be one of them. The Opel-based Verano and Encore are (arguably) GM's two most reliable vehicles.
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Old 03-19-17, 06:54 PM   #4
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Thanks. You've pretty much echoed my thoughts. The LaCrosse would be a step up in several ways...though I'm not sure quality would be one of them. The Verano and Encore are (arguably) GM's two most reliable vehicles.
Oh, because the Verano was originally an Opel and the LaCrosse is straight-out Buick.
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Old 03-19-17, 07:01 PM   #5
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Oh, because the Verano was originally an Opel and the LaCrosse is straight-out Buick.
Yes.....exactly. The new LaCrosse comes off the same platform the Chevy Impala does...which is a superb-driving sedan, but has only an average repair record from Consumer Reports...as do previous LaCrosses.
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Old 03-19-17, 07:05 PM   #6
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The "zig-zag pattern shifter" is NOT a problem. Unlike the linear shifter with the push button, it does not allow you to shift into the wrong gear:
  • It does not allow you to shift down past D(rive) into a lower gear (from P(ark), R(everse) or N(eutral)), as some Honda shifters allowed.
  • It allows you to quickly and easily push (tap) up from D(rive) to N(eutral) without having to push in that shift button (as some Fords require) and without allowing the accidental over-shift from D(rive) into R(everse) in a panic situation.
I find the zig-zag pattern shifter much more intuitive than the gimmicky (in my opinion) push-button shifters or the rotary dial shifter.
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Old 03-19-17, 07:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Sulu View Post
The "zig-zag pattern shifter" is NOT a problem. Unlike the linear shifter with the push button, it does not allow you to shift into the wrong gear:
  • It does not allow you to shift down past D(rive) into a lower gear (from P(ark), R(everse) or N(eutral)), as some Honda shifters allowed.
  • It allows you to quickly and easily push (tap) up from D(rive) to N(eutral) without having to push in that shift button (as some Fords require) and without allowing the accidental over-shift from D(rive) into R(everse) in a panic situation.
I find the zig-zag pattern shifter much more intuitive than the gimmicky (in my opinion) push-button shifters or the rotary dial shifter.
Thanks for your input. I had two zig-zag levers in my Lexus IS300 and Subaru Outback, and didn't like either of them....or any others I've sampled in auto reviews. I wouldn't necessarily call them a PITA, but, to me, they were at least mildly annoying. I agree, though, that it's probably preferable to the Jag/Rover/Chrysler rotary-dial. Still, IMO, one cannot beat a simple fore/aft PRNDL lever.
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Old 03-19-17, 07:30 PM   #8
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For me, I would buy a Genesis G80. For you, I would consider that, or the ES350. It rides better than the Lacrosse (haven't driven the new one, but based on reviews) or the MKZ, and if you have not driven a 2016+ refresh ES they did soften the ride a little I think, and its still the best riding car in that FWD entry level luxury segment IMHO. The G80 is a better, and more refined ride/car overall though.

I really like the refresh ES, I think they made changes to it in all the right places, and if that had been the product that they came out with for 2013 I likely would not have felt compelled to upgrade to the GS. IMHO there is no contest in overall product appeal between the ES350 and the MKZ/Lacrosse. The ES remains a ton of car for that money.

As for whether you should get a new car or keep yours....if it won't hurt you financially to get a new car, and you want/would enjoy a new car...get the new car. Life is short my friend.

If you do decide to consider the ES I have a great guy at Lexus of Alexandria for you.

Last edited by SW15LS; 03-19-17 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 03-19-17, 07:40 PM   #9
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For me, I would buy a Genesis G80. For you, I would consider that, or the ES350. It rides better than the Lacrosse (haven't driven the new one, but based on reviews) or the MKZ, and if you have not driven a 2016+ refresh ES they did soften the ride a little I think, and its still the best riding car in that FWD entry level luxury segment IMHO. The G80 is a better, and more refined ride/car overall though.
Thanks, Steve. The G80 is definitely an attractive option. My pastor owned one (and loved it) for several years (the Hyundai Genesis version), partly on my recommendation, and only recently traded it for a Honda Ridgeline because he needed more utility to carry things. I'd have to go for the AWD version, though...for me, RWD is out. Only a few Hyundai/Genesis shops carry the G90, but, of course, many more carry the G80.



Quote:
I really like the refresh ES, I think they made changes to it in all the right places, and if that had been the product that they came out with for 2013 I likely would not have felt compelled to upgrade to the GS.
You mean the LS?


Quote:
IMHO there is no contest in overall product appeal between the ES350 and the MKZ/Lacrosse. The ES remains a ton of car for that money.
The ES certainly has the best fit/finish....but, except for the awkward shifter, the LaCrosse is quite well-done.....pretty close to the ES.

Quote:
As for whether you should get a new car or keep yours....if it won't hurt you financially to get a new car, and you want/would enjoy a new car...get the new car. Life is short my friend.
Correct. Money is not an issue with me, but I'm somewhat size-constrained by my parking spaces....which rules out a Continental, LS, or S-Class. And, I'm no spring chicken any more.....at my age and with marginal knees, moving into a big place with a garage is probably not an option. Living in my condo makes a lot of sense.

Quote:
If you do decide to consider the ES I have a great guy at Lexus of Alexandria for you.
Thanks.....I know a number of people in the sales-buisness myself, both from my own shopping and from shopping with others.

Last edited by mmarshall; 03-19-17 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 03-19-17, 07:43 PM   #10
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Yeah I too would only buy the AWD around here
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Old 03-19-17, 07:51 PM   #11
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I'd go for the ES. That steering wheel alone is worth the price of admission! =)
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Old 03-19-17, 07:57 PM   #12
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I'd go for the ES. That steering wheel alone is worth the price of admission! =)
Can't argue with that. Yes, that's something that both the LaCrosse and MKZ lack....even in the high-zoot MKZ Black-Label series. I'm not terribly impressed, though, with the thinness of the sheet metal and some of the interior parts in the ES....except for the steering wheel, definitely some cost-cutting.

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Old 03-19-17, 08:04 PM   #13
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Have you driven a refresh ES? A lot of that is improved.
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Old 03-19-17, 08:19 PM   #14
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Thanks, Steve. The G80 is definitely an attractive option. My pastor owned one (and loved it) for several years (the Hyundai Genesis version), partly on my recommendation, and only recently traded it for a Honda Ridgeline because he needed more utility to carry things.
if your pastor had it for several years, i guess you mean the original hyundai genesis, which of course has absolutely nothing in common with the g80?
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Old 03-19-17, 08:21 PM   #15
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How many miles does your 5 yr old verano have?

if relatively few, and you keep cars only 5-6 years, not sure why you would have reliability concerns with just about anything.
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